What It’s Really Like to Be a Digital Nomad

You’ve probably seen an array of ads pop up on your Facebook or Instagram feeds over the years that talk about hundreds of ways to make money by becoming a digital nomad. They usually feature photos of people working from their laptops on an exotic beach or in a hostel somewhere in Southeast Asia, and can make you feel like you’re missing out.

But what does it honestly take to travel around the world and work remotely while you’re having such experiences? Here’s an inside look at the kinds of work you can find, and the skills you’ll want to possess or develop to live a digital nomad life successfully.

Types of Remote Work

Remote work has become extremely popular over the last few years – especially since the 2020 global pandemic forced companies to rethink how they hire their team and where their employees do their work. Outsourcing various functions such as content writing, project management, social media content creation, or even virtual assistants have helped companies save time and money.

These developments have ensured that digital marketing and administrative tasks are in high demand. If those aren’t your skills but you still want to give the digital nomad life a try, start looking into online certifications, master classes, or even going back to school for one of the specialties that can get you on that path.

Where to Apply for Remote Work

Remote work usually involves one of two job types. You’re either going to be working for one company as an employee or rindependent contractor, or you’ll be managing several projects at once with several different firms.

Although the available remote industries have become more competitive, and the hustle of gaining new work through various companies might seem intimidating, there are platforms that will bring the clients to you.

Websites like Upwork.com or Fiverr.com are great places to take your skills into remote work. A wide range of needs, from graphic design and website developmentui to typing and even voice-over work, can be found on such sites. Find a platform that works for you and your skillset, and start building a portfolio.

If you’re starting from scratch, you’ll more than likely have to lower your fees until you have built authority and trust from reviews by your new customers. It won’t be an overnight success, but you’ll start to reap the benefits of your hard work after a while.

You Have to be Self-Disciplined

Working remotely requires a significant amount of self-discipline. You won’t be going to an office every day and laboring within a limited set of hours. If you’re working as a freelancer on many different projects, you’ll have to set time aside and be diligent with your personal working schedule. This can be even more difficult for a digital nomad, who travels frequently.

If you go somewhere new, you’ll want to spend some time exploring, hiking, or making new friends. Create a calendar that sets aside travel days as well as your workdays. This can help preserve balance, so you don’t catch yourself slacking in one area or, on the flip side, never actually getting to enjoy any time off.

Working in Different Time Zones

Communicating with your employer or clients is incredibly important. You never want to miss a deadline or skip out on a company Zoom call because you’re twelve hours ahead in another country.

If you are far away from your contacts, you’ll need to have an open line of communication with your team or customers about your availability. You don’t have to maintain an utterly consistent schedule, but it should be clear, so others know how and when to reach you if necessary.

Organization is Key

When you travel, your personal and work items will all have to be carried in suitcases and backpacks. You won’t have a familiar work desk you go to every day, where everything is dependably organized. You’ll want to ensure that everything you do is digital, from your files and documents to your task lists and calendar.

Whether you’re using Google Drive or project management software within your team, knowing how to find the appropriate tools and files you need every day will save time both for you and the people you work with . . . not to mention, you’ll avoid disrupting productivity with your activities.

Being a digital nomad is exciting and a dream of many people who want the opportunity to work and travel simultaneously. It also requires a lot of self-discipline, organization skills, and most important, it requires adaptability.

If others can do it, so can you. Keep dreaming big!




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I'm Crystal. I'm married to Dale, and mother to Johnny.Some might say that my life is perfect because I get to do all the cliché wife things like cooking, cleaning, and decorating - but there's more! I also have many hobbies including needlework (crochet), sewing, and reading. My son's education is important, so we homeschool him together.

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